Does this tree need to be cut down?


Old 11-06-16, 03:40 PM
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Does this tree need to be cut down?

Hi. I have a few trees on my front lawn. I live in a development where there is this “movement” by homeowners to cut down the trees on their property. I’m not sure why they do it, it may be because leaves have to be raked when you have trees, or the roots of trees have caused significant problems to the sewer drain lines leading to the street.

So a neighbor who is a landscaper was telling me that the tree that I am writing about has significant problems. He pointed to a damaged area on the tree and said that the damaged area creates a weak point for some major branches (See Problem A on Pic 2906a). He also pointed to whitish/greenish patches on the trunk of the tree and said that is another indicator that the tree is weakened (See Problem B on Pic 2906a). There was one other problem area on a tree branch that he says causes the branch to be a high risk for falling (See Problem C on Pic 2906a).

The other pics of the tree are to give you a general sense of its size and location and overall health.

So do you think the tree has branches that need to be cut down? If so, which ones? Or do you think the entire tree has to be cut down? Thank you for your advice.

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Last edited by PJmax; 11-06-16 at 09:25 PM. Reason: reoriented pictures
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Old 11-06-16, 04:01 PM
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Soft maples are pretty notoriously weak trees, so don't be surprised if branches break next time you get another "Sandy." The areas you have circled aren't as worrisome imo as the multiple forked branches (think "Y") where you have the potential for a split. Soft maples bleed sap (not the good syrup kind either) which attracts bugs and carpenter ants. But the sap can help identify wounded and weak areas. Any house I ever worked on that had a carpenter ant problem always had a soft maple nearby.

Not saying you need to prune it, but you could if you wanted to. I wouldn't. But chances are, when a storm comes along you will probably have more branches break off than just the ones that you payed to have pruned. I don't see the sense in doing things twice, in other words...
Old 11-06-16, 07:11 PM
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Most tree services have a certified arborist on staff and they will give you an honest opinion on the health of the tree. I'd call a few for a free analysis.
Old 11-07-16, 03:12 AM
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I'm not a tree expert but I'm responding because your question touched a philosophical note with me. I believe landowners become caretakers for their trees and have an obligation to care for them within reason. Thus, I wouldn't cut down a tree (and I have hundreds) unless the tree created a risk of some kind or it was impeding a project, such as land use.

Your maple is beautiful and worth saving / protecting. Clearly have a specialist give you advice on what's best for the tree. Don't cut it down unless necessary. If your tree has years left in it, why not let it enjoy it's golden years.
Old 11-07-16, 07:45 AM
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Posters #3 and #4 give good advice. Take it.
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